Butch flight and the cotton ceiling

August 28, 2012 § 7 Comments

So, I read a fantastic article on the supposed phenomenon of “butch flight” today – and, in the course of discussing it, an excellent point emerged about entitlement. About how entitled a person must feels themselves to be, to assume that they know the reasons for someone else’s transition. To know how to feels to have a particular mind and a particular body and a particular disconnect between elements of the two. To know which identity is actually welcome, and which is a label attached from the outside. How someone else should make peace with themselves. How someone else should express the physical embodiment of their selfhood. How someone else understands the unique personal combination of bodily presence and libidinal drive.


And, of course, the entitlement necessary to say: “I want you, I desire you – stay looking like the fixed object of my desire, so that I can pretend that what you look like is who you are. Because what you look like to me IS who you are.” Telling a person to be what they’re not, essentially, in hope of sexual and emotional gratification. And then I thought about the fact that the people complaining about butch flight are so often the ones misrepresenting the cotton ceiling debate as creepy trans women feeling entitled enough to claim unfettered access to cis women’s bodies – and I laughed and laughed.


Everyone – go read some Jung.


§ 7 Responses to Butch flight and the cotton ceiling

  • Ruth says:



  • arkadyrose says:

    I had a therapist try to tell me my desire to transition was actually an effort to spite my mother by cutting off my breasts. Seriously. You’ll be unsurprised to learn she’s no longer my therapist.

    • Hamish says:

      Was this therapist Estella Weldon, by any chance? I know she, along with the other Portman Group psychs, values the Oepidus/Electra complexes very highly (transsexualism according to them is the result of us wanting to become our parents). And they wonder why people think of psychotherapy as a pseudoscience.

      • arkadyrose says:

        No, Judith Symons at LACAP. I’d had CBT with another therapist there before starting psychotherapy with a chap who had an unfortunate resemblance to Michael Winner (I kept expecting him to burst out with “Calm down dear, it’s only therapy!” – most distracting) before switching to her. She was good on other stuff but appalling for gender issues; very much from the school of Freud. I decided that no therapy at all was better than carrying on with Freudian nonsense.

        • Hamish says:

          I can sympathise. When I first came out in 2008 my GP referred me for therapy before I would be allowed to visit the GIC. All the therapist ever did was patronisingly tell me “now, it doesn’t matter what gender we are” and tell me the root of my problems were all due to confidence issues, and if I worked on my confidence then the gender dysphoria would magically disappear. Talk about putting the cart before the horse! Needless to say, I did not see that therapist again – like you, I preferred no therapy at all than someone who trivialised what I was going through.

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